All week, Soundcheck is featuring conversations with authors about music (and musicians about books) in our Writers Club. Staff members from the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, who compiled a list of their recommended musical reads -- from musician biographies to the history of baseball's biggest hit.
Soundcheck asks The Office's Creed to take a listen to Creed. This is his verdict.
The all-male choral group Cantus is an a cappella ensemble that started out at St. Olaf College in Minnesota. Since the group went pro 13 years ago, they've put out 15 albums, won numerous awards and been named Minnesota Public Radio's artists in residence. All nine members of Cantus recently sang at NPR Music in Washington D.C., as part of their Tiny Desk Concert series.
In these end times (just in case the theories about 12-21-2012 turn out to actually be true) we're looking at why the apocalypse is such a big part of pop culture. Music host and reporter Gary Burton compiled two playlists for the show:
You may have noticed that Soundcheck has been a little less active than normal this week, and that's because we've been unable to get to our offices both during and immediately after Hurricane Sandy. Fortunately, everyone on the Soundcheck team fared the storm pretty well, and at this point, we're all getting a little bit stir-crazy at home.
We decided to put together a playlist, and since today is October 31st -- well, it's a spooky one. So whether your Halloween plans are proceeding as normal -- or they've been scrapped due to the aftermath of the hurricane -- enjoy this creepy collection.
It turns out that our listeners had a lot to say -- and sing -- about "Hava Nagila."
The latest collaboration between pianist and composer Vijay Iyer and spoken word artist Mike Ladd delves deep into the psyche of modern-day veterans. "Holding It Down: The Veterans' Dreams Project" transforms dreams experienced by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans into poetry and music.
Cellist and singer-songwriter Ben Sollee exudes a can-do attitude. Not only does he tour the country by bicycle (yes, instrument in tow), he also figured out his own unique way of playing the cello and raised the money for his latest album online. So we thought it'd be appropriate to ask him five questions tailored to his DIY ethic.
The Brooklyn by-way-of New Orleans experimental rock band Callers recently performed songs from their forthcoming album, Reviver, live in the studio. Afterwards, we asked band members Ryan Seaton and Sara Lucas a few pressing questions. Read on to find out their favorite crying song, which subway stop is best for insipiration, and what's going to be playing in the van on their tour this fall with Wye Oak.
Kendra Morris is a New York singer with a penchant for retro soul and the supernatural. Stream her entire album - out next Tuesday, August 28 - exclusively on our site.
After threatening to crash our studio via Twitter, the Los Angeles-based band Noah and the MegaFauna successfully paid us a visit (after being officially invited) on their most recent swing through New York. In addition to coming armed with a Soundcheck jingle, the band also laid down an exclusive new track.
We’ve already challenged you to make a summer music resolution (how’s that going, by the way?). Now, we’ve got a slightly less daunting task that we’d like your help with.
In short, we need a jingle.
We ask the classically trained flutist Mimi Stillman to rate some flute jams unfamiliar to her ears – from Jethro Tull to The Polyphonic Spree. Listen to hear her reactions.
What do you think of the flute in rock and pop bands? Is it fierce, or fearsome? Take our Smackdown survey, below -- and tell us why you voted thumbs up or down.
Have a listen to some of the flute-wielding candidates:
NPR's All Songs Considered is taking its show on the road - and kicking things off in NYC at The Living Room. For this first stop on their summer tour, Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton will be joined by our very own John Schaefer. It's sold out - but Soundcheck will be live tweeting from the listening party! Follow us @Soundcheck.
Soundcheck isn't just for your ears - it's for your eyes, too! Check out our YouTube playlist of live performances captured on camera in our studio. Press play and see where our more than six hours of footage takes you... or browse through a list of performances here.
Just like a band on tour pulls off the road and heads into the recording studio, Soundcheck will spend the summer off the air creating something new. We'll return after Labor Day with a new evening timeslot, a new and expanded digital presence, and a lineup of terrific live events.
We've put together a list of four summer festivals and the food they're serving up. Dig in!
Icelandic band Sigur Rós is set to release a new album called “Valtari” at the end of this month, but you’ll be able to hear the entire album streamed live on the Soundcheck site this Thursday evening.